What Travelers Need to Know as Iceland Opens International Tourism

As Iceland reopens its international borders on July 1, the nation is working hard to welcome travelers again in the safest way possible.

According to The Iceland Monitor, Iceland opened its borders to European Union member nations on June 15 as a result of intensive tracking and tracing protocols that have helped nearly eliminate coronavirus infections in the country.

Travelers will notice a new set of rules and regulations as they arrive at the country’s international airports. Not only will passengers be required to wear a mask at all times, but they will also need to undergo coronavirus tests.

Tourists will wait in line until it’s time for their test, then they will be forced to undergo a nose swab administered by two medical professionals in protective gear. The test will cost $114 and is the responsibility of the traveler.

Visitors will receive their test results within a few hours, with a negative result allowing tourists to enter the country without restriction and a positive result forcing travelers to quarantine for 14 days. Arrivals could also forego the test and go straight to quarantine.

Government officials in Iceland have been advocating for the reopening of its borders to help the hard-hit tourism industry, which accounts for eight percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Popular tourist attractions such as the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa have remained closed since the viral pandemic began in March, but they will reopen to the public in the coming days. The number of visitors at each site will be limited to reduce the risk of spread, though.

Tour operators have also started reporting a spike in bookings as the country reopens, with several companies offering to pay the coronavirus testing fee for foreign guests to alleviate additional mental and financial stress.

American may not be allowed to visit Iceland, though, as the United States will reportedly be excluded from the European Union’s forthcoming list of travelers who are given permission to enter its borders when they reopen again on July 1.

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